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Helping Kids Adjust to Changing COVID-19 Guidelines

Summary: The Student Health team gathered some tips and suggestions to help students identify their feelings about the changes to mask guidelines.

Tips for Families: Helping Kids Adjust to Changing COVID-19 Guidelines

Coordinated School Health Services has gathered some tips and suggestions to help students identify their feelings about the changes to mask guidelines through self-reflection and discussion.

PreK – 5th Grade

Rules about masks are changing.

  • Starting on Monday, March 14
  • Students and adults may choose to wear masks or not wear masks
  • At school and on yellow school buses
  • There might be times or places that we must wear masks. Educators will tell you when and where. 

Parents, guardians, caring adults can help prompt discussion about this change with open ended questions. Ask your student: “How do you feel about this change?”

Looking at a emotion-sensation wheel can help identify feelings.

A wheel in rainbow colors with a range of emotional and sensation words.

Why are rules about masks changing?

  • We’ve been wearing masks to protect each other, and it worked.
  • Fewer people are getting sick with COVID-19 now.
  • Health experts say it’s safe in our county for people to choose to wear masks or not.

Both choices are okay!

A young student stands in front of a building
A student with a mask stands in front of a school

People have reasons for their choices.

  • Why might someone choose to wear a mask?
  • Why might someone choose not to wear a mask?

We will show each other kindness.

  • In what ways do we already show each other kindness every day?
  • What would you see and hear people do and say to show kindness about mask choices?
  • What can you do if people are unkind?

Ask students “What are your thoughts?

Prompts could include:

  • I wonder if…
  • I worry about…
  • I wish that…

We’re here for each other! 

Adults at school are so proud of you!

You show great care for our community!

We are going to continue to show care by treating each other with kindness.

If you have questions or worries, you can talk to the adults at school and at home.


6th – 8th Grade

What are the Changes and Why?

Beginning Monday, March 14 masks will be optional both inside and outside the school building in most situations.

  • Masks must still be worn in the nurse office, school-based health care center, and protected health care room.
  • Masking is also required for some indoor activities.

This decision was made following the guidelines of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control, and our own state.

Since January, SPS Covid cases have dropped by over 90%.

Keep in Mind

We all have different emotions, views, and feelings about this

Respecting each other should be a priority

Masks are always a good preventative measure against illnesses

Masks aren’t the only preventative measure. At school we will continue hand washing, strong air flow, testing, and physical distancing, etc. Changes may be made to these measures

The 3 W’s

Parents, guardians, caring adults can help prompt discussion about this change with open ended questions. Ask your student: “How do you feel about this change?”

Wonderings

  • What are you curious about?
  • What questions do you have?

Worries

  • Are you worried or concerned about anything?
  • Or are you experiencing happiness and joy?
  • (maybe both?)

Wishes

  • What are you feeling hopeful about?
  • What do you wish for our school and community in these next months?

Our Choices

  1. We can choose to wear a mask.
  2. We can choose to not wear a mask.
  3. We can choose to wear a mask in some places.

We All Have Our Own Reasons

Do we have a right to know why others make the choice that they do?

We can ask, but it is not our RIGHT to know. Respect the privacy of others.

Judging Others

It is not our right to know about why others make choices.

Making judgements or assumptions about others can be wrong or harmful

It’s important that we practice patience and empathy, especially when disagreeing.

Prompts could include:

  • Why do we judge others?
  • Are judgements always negative? Explain.
  • What are some consequences of judging others?

Keep in mind: Judging others is about the judger

  • It makes them feel better
  • Judgers are often insecure
  • Judgers may lack information or education

Discussion Questions

If you are or someone else is harassed for for your choices, what would you do? If you needed help, who would you go to?

Not just thinking about masks, how can we show respect for those whose choices are different than ours? What are some examples?

If we experience or observe a conflict over our choices, what are some ways we can solve our problems constructively?

How can we all work together to make our school a place where everyone feels comfortable and safe no matter their choices?

Do you agree with this statement? “Judging a person does not define who they are. It defines who you are.”

What is one piece of advice you’d give to someone to help them judge less?


9th – 12th Grade

What are the Changes and Why?

Beginning Monday, March 14th masks will be optional both inside and outside the school building in most situations. Masks must still be worn in the nurse office, school-based health care center, and protected health care room. Masking is also required for some indoor activities.

This decision was made following the guidelines of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control, and our own state

Since January, SPS Covid cases have dropped by over 90%

Keep in Mind

We all have different emotions, views, and feelings about this

Respecting each other should be a priority

Masks are always a good preventative measure against respiratory illnesses

Masks aren’t the only preventative measure. At school we will continue hand washing, strong air flow, testing, and physical distancing, etc. Changes may be made to these measures

Parents, guardians, caring adults can help prompt discussion about this change with open ended questions. Ask your student: “What is the first word that comes to your mind to describe how you’re feeling about all this?”

Discussion Fatigue

We’ve talked about Covid-19, safety measures, and masks for about for two years

Many people may be tired and fatigued when it comes to this topic, while others remain focused and vigilant

What may be reasons for both these feelings?

Our Choices

  1. We can choose to wear a mask.
  2. We can choose to not wear a mask.
  3. We can choose to wear a mask in some places.

We All Have Our Own Reasons

Do we have a right to know why others make the choice that they do?

We can ask, but it is not our RIGHT to know. Respect the privacy of others.

Managing Judgements

We all have different reasons for all our choices in life.

Often, we subject ourselves and others to judgements for choices.

Discuss any of or all the following questions

  • What are some common ways you have observed people being judged? How might these change as you get older?
  • Why do we judge others? Ourselves?
  • How do judgements harm others? Ourselves?
  • Who could you go to in order to help you repair harm?

Discussion Questions

Do you agree with this statement? “Judging a person does not define who they are. It defines who you are.”

How does judging ourselves define who WE are and how WE feel?

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